Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

Monstera deliciosa, better known as the delicious window leaf, is one of the most popular houseplants and is available in pots in many hardware stores and even supermarkets. The arum plant is popular because of its large leaves, which create a tropical character in your own four walls. Since the plant is a plant native to tropical Central and South America, many parents and pet owners wonder if monstera leaves are poisonous.


Due to their ingredients, Monstera species are considered a slightly poisonous plant that can cause symptoms of poisoning in humans and animals. The components of the arum family are not in themselves poisons, but they have a toxic effect on mammals due to the concentration within the plants. The fabrics are in sap, which is found in all parts of the Monstera plant and can be easily absorbed through the digestive system, the mucous membranes or the skin. The ingredients listed below can be found in the window leaf.

1. Calcium oxalate

Calcium oxalate is a special one salt oxalic acid, which occurs in the form of crystals used to protect against predators. Calcium oxalate is a basic building block of kidney stones and, due to its pointed or star-shaped structure, has an irritating effect on the mucous membranes and, in the worst cases, can even lead to ulcers in the mouth and throat. The crystals literally cut into the mucous membranes and always appear together with oxalic acid, which can make them so dangerous.

Monstera deliciosa

2. Oxalic acid

Oxalic acid is in the window leaf as oxalate, i.e. as salt, represented and in large quantities has a harmful effect on your health. Oxalic acid is known to be involved in the formation of kidney stones, especially in people who are prone to them. It removes calcium from the blood, which in large quantities can lead to problems with the circulatory system and the heart. However, since monstera are only consumed in small amounts, that much oxalic acid cannot accumulate in the body at all. It only becomes a problem for people struggling with kidney stones, heart and circulatory problems.

3. Resorcinol

This phenol is also crystals, which appear in the form of needles and are often used in hair dyes. The substance is derived from benzene and can be toxic in higher doses and attack the central nervous system.

4. Other substances

The other substances found in the Monstera include several bitter substances and one previously unexplored hot stuff. These give the window leaf and especially the plant sap an inedible, slightly pungent taste, which children usually spit out the plant again. These substances serve as a further deterrent against predators.


The sap is strongest in the root and leaves and therefore consumption of these should be avoided at all costs. There is only one part of the plant that you can safely eat, but due to the weather, it is extremely rare in Central Europe. We're talking about the fruit here. Yes, the window leaf forms tasty fruits whose aroma is reminiscent of a mix of banana and pineapple. For this reason they are offered as pineapple bananas in South America. You should definitely avoid all other parts of the plant. The following symptoms are typical when consumed, even in small amounts.

Monstera deliciosa
  • severe irritation of the mucous membranes, especially in the mouth area
  • Pain in mouth, stomach and throat
  • formation of blisters
  • swelling of the mucous membranes
  • Skin irritation from the plant sap
  • strangle
  • Vomit
  • diarrhea, sometimes bloody
  • hoarseness
  • increased salivation
  • rarely cramps
  • frequent consumption can lead to health problems due to oxalic acid, such as kidney stones


Babies, small children, sensitive people and allergy sufferers are more affected by Monstera toxicity and should therefore have almost no contact with the plant and only look at it from a safe distance. The concentration of ingredients is usually very low in the breeds offered in Germany and does not lead to death. Allergic reactions, however, are possible and can be fatal without prompt treatment. If parts of the window leaf have been eaten, water or tea should be given to drink and a doctor should be consulted. Fortunately, the plant parts are usually spat out immediately due to the bitter substances.

Tip: Due to the toxic plant sap, you should definitely wear gloves when caring for it. This will reduce the risk of skin irritation from touching the Monstera.

For cats

effect on cats

The window leaf is particularly poisonous for cats, since the large ones leaves literally represent a found food for the velvet paws. Cats explore the world with their mouths, even if their senses of smell and taste are weak. In many cases, the four-legged friends do not even notice that it is a poisonous plant. Because of this, you should place your Monstera in a way that cats cannot get to it, even if it needs to be moved to another room.

Typical symptoms include:

  • increased salivation
  • severe difficulty swallowing
  • bloody diarrhea
  • Vomit
  • stagger

For cats are all plant parts, even the fruit, is not edible and you should take the animal to a veterinarian immediately if curiosity got the better of you. Be sure to take a piece of the leaves or roots with you to the doctor so they can administer the necessary medication and treatments.

dog and cat

For dogs

effect on dogs

Dogs tolerate the window leaf just as little as people and cats. Even the fruit is poisonous to man's best friend and should be avoided. However, dogs are less endangered than cats because in most cases they do not participate in the disease monstera are interested unless they are bored or alone. Puppies require special care as, like cats, they like to chew on plants to explore their world. Since monstera leaves do not have a strong odor, dogs are unaware of possible toxins because their sense of taste is not as keen as humans.

Tip: The window leaf is not only poisonous for cats and dogs, but also for small animals and rodents. Guinea pigs and rabbits in particular like to nibble on any form of "greens" they can find, so keep the Monstera out of the animals' reach.



Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!